The hermit told you of a holy relic, the door frame of the stable in Bethlehem, and a strange property it had. Tonight the stars would align just as they had the night of Christ’s birth. In fact, this was the first time they would since that holiest of nights. In aligning the door frame would be filled with a door not of wood but of the spirit and give access to another world.
“We can walk bodily into heaven,” one of your party asked.
“No,” he said, “for that is the provence of the Lord and the greatest of the prophets alone. You, instead, can walk into a world in need of the light of Christ even more than this land.”
So you thought. You remembered the brothers from Venice who disappeared into the desert in search of the Grail. You remembered Baldwin and his success in succeeding Thoros of Edessa. So you came, along with your companions and others to that dark cave on the night in question.
And there the hermit was suffused in brightness and revealed to be more than a hermit but Sariel. As he stood before the frame it rippled with light.
“Beyond this doorway live men lead astray and enslaved. Beyond this doorway men are enslaved by those decended from the daughters of men seduced by those of the host of heaven. Beyond this doorway lies a destiny greater than you can know and a crusade of great holiness,” he declared to the assembled host.
And with that, you stepped through the doorway into a great courtyard in a dark building. You soon realized you were alone in a dark and abandoned city on a great island. Yet one of the wizards among you also realizes they could open the doorway by a set of hieroglyphs. Now you prepare to step through it again to seek the destiny Sariel proclaimed.
Initial characters are members of the First Crusade who have stepped through a magical gate into another realm. Initial classes allowed are Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue, and Wizard. All initial characters are human. Instead of the stock deities, Clerics pick a patron saint or angel which maps to a divine domain. The Oaths of Paladin will be similarly reskinned.
PCs are not the only ones to come to the abandoned City of the Nephilim. I figure they are part of a host of a couple of hundred.
Adventures generally are found beyond the gate in the City of the Nephilim. Beyond the gates are lost tribes of man, the Children of Lilith, ruins and remnants of races from before the Flood, pagan gods and their followers, and most frightening of all the Nephilim themselves, the children of angels and the daughters of men. They both rule and feed upon men creating a climate of fear. Yet men, being men, are not united against them and have been so long removed from the light of the Lord lack the faith to do so. Allies and friends among them can provide new and different characters the classes and races excluded from initial characters.
With the limitations, I will be open to retiring characters and replacing them with non-first level characters for players interested in expanded options.
I see two broad directions the campaign can take. Players could lead a war against the Nephilim sparked by their appearance from Earth. They could also just explore the worlds through the various gates, eventually settling and creating their own kingdoms similar to those founded after the First Crusade.